St. Maria Faustina–Secretary of Divine Mercy,

Dives Misericordia!  © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children(Matthew 11:25).”

Among the chosen souls to whom Our Lord has deigned to disclose the abundance of His Goodness was a young, uneducated Polish nun named Sr. Faustina Kowalska in the 1930’s. From her childhood, Helena Kowalska was a well-balanced, obedient, and pious young lady. She was the third child in a family of ten – a child accustomed to both the arduous labor and poverty of farm life. Helena was only able to attend formal schooling for three winters, as her help was needed on the family farm. From the age of fourteen she worked as a domestic servant, caring for the children of wealthier families in the nearby cities of Aleksandrow and Lodz. It was to this humble servant that Our Lord would reveal the magnitude of His Divine Mercy.

From the tender age of 7, Our Lord had given Helena the grace to understand she was called to religious life. Since Helena’s family rejected her desire to become a nun, she attempted to stifle the call, willingly accepted her position as a domestic servant, and developed friendships among her peers. One day during a dance Helena attended with her sister, Our Lord revealed himself to Helena in a vision. He was suffering in agony, and cried out to Helena saying: “How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting me off (9, p. 7– Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987)?”

St. Maria Faustia, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Maria Faustia, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

With her entrance into the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, on August 1, 1925, Helena Kowalska became Sr. Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. As soon as the veil was put on Sr. Faustina’s head, Our Lord immediately enlightened her soul regarding what she would have to suffer. Sr. Maria Faustina remained a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy until her death – a mere 13 years later – at the age of 33, on October 5, 1938.

Your Life is to be Modeled on Mine, From the Crib to the Cross. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Your Life is to be Modeled on Mine, From the Crib to the Cross. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

Throughout those next 13 years, Our Lord shaped and modeled St. Faustina’s soul to closely resemble His own. He stated: “Your life is to be modeled on Mine, from the crib to My death on the cross (438, p. 193 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

This simple, pious sister, who was the gardener, cook and porter for the community, was also Our Lord’s chosen Apostle and Secretary of Mercy. Though possessing no more than three winters of formal education, St. Faustina would pen a 600+ page diary containing some of the most profound insights regarding Our Lord’s Divine Mercy ever written. The life of St. Faustina seems to reflect our Lord’s words in Luke 10:21:

At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “I give You praise Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned You have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father such has been Your gracious Will (Luke 10:21).

One of the scholars who would later study and champion St. Faustina’s work, was a Polish kinsman, a certain Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. In 1981,  Pope St. John Paul II  published an encyclical, Dives MisericordiaRich in Mercy, in which the Holy Father drew from the theme of Divine Mercy present in St. Faustina’s Diary- Divine Mercy in My Soul. On April 18, 1993,  Pope St. John Paul II beatified Sr. Faustina; and seven years later -on Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000 – Pope St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina as the first saint of that Jubilee year. This Sunday, April 27, all the world will celebrate the canonizations of both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope St. John XXIII- truly this Divine Mercy Sunday will be a blessed and historic moment in time.

St. Faustina’s entire mission was to convey to the world the unfathomable Mercy of Christ. Over the years, Our Lord revealed much to her.

 

My Mercy is Greater than the Sins of the World. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

My Mercy is Greater than the Sins of the World. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

On one occasion He stated: “My mercy is greater than your sins and the sins of the whole world. . . . I never reject a contrite heart (1485, p. 524 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

On another: “Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699, p. 286 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Likewise He stated: “My mercy is greater than your sins, and those of the whole world (1485, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Blessed Are The Merciful, for Mercy Shall Be Theirs. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Blessed Are The Merciful, for Mercy Shall Be Theirs. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

Our Lord made it clear that mercy was His gift to an aching humanity, but that this gift must recognized, accepted, and acted upon. We must return mercy for the mercy that has been granted to us. Jesus states: “If a soul does not exercise mercy in some way it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment (1317, p. 473 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).

Our Savior cautions: “My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy (1588, p. 564 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Jesus also warns: “He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice (1146, p. 420 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

As we prepare to celebrate the great Feast of Divine Mercy, initiated by Our Lord, and instituted by Blessed Pope John Paul the Great, let us continue with the eighth day of the Novena of Chaplets. For complete instructions please visit the Divine Mercy website run by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Today we also continue with the eighth day of the preparatory novena dictated by Our Lord to St. Faustina. Each day He instructed Sr. Faustina to bring a certain group of souls into the abyss of His mercy by means of prayer, and likewise to intercede for them before the throne of God the Father.

Bring to Me the Souls in Purgatory.  © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Bring to Me the Souls in Purgatory. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

On the eighth day of the novena, Jesus requested of St. Faustina:

“Today bring Me souls who are in the prison of Purgatory and immerse them into the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice (1226, p. 441 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Turn your Merciful Gaze Upon the Souls Suffering in Purgatory  © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Turn your Merciful Gaze Upon the Souls Suffering in Purgatory © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

The novena for the eighth day is as follows:

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You , and yet, must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your Mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen. (Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet Pamphlet [LFMCN], 2012 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.)

One of the greatest ways we can share the Mercy of Christ with others is to pray for them. Thus, praying for those souls who are yet journeying from physical death to Paradise, and being purified of the stain of sins committed in this life, is itself a worthy act of mercy. Together with St. Maria Faustina let us immerse the suffering souls in the abyss of God’s mercy, and beg Our Heavenly Father to look upon them in no other way, but through the wounds of Jesus.

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly,

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Bring to Me the Souls of the Merciful, They are Living Images of My Compassionate Heart

Proclaim My Mercy! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

“Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy (301 p. 139 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord Jesus makes it abundantly clear that mercy is His greatest attribute. God is perfect, and as such the perfections of God are limitless. However, of all of these, mercy reigns as preeminent of all of God’s glorious attributes. Our Lord stated to St. Maria Faustina: “I am Love and Mercy Itself (1074 p. 404 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

It is therefore right that we should glorify the mercy of God, and proclaim it to others. With this thought in mind we continue to prepare for the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast on which Our Lord promised immeasurable graces to those who celebrate the unfathomable nature of His mercy.

Jesus told St. Faustina:

“Whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment (300 p. 139 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord spoke to St. Faustina fourteen times regarding this incredible Feast that He Himself instituted on the First Sunday after Easter.

The most extensive diary entry detailing Jesus’ revelations regarding this feast can be found in entry number 699 (p. 286 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987). A portion of this entry reads:

Let No Fear To Approach My Mercy © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

“On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out whole torrents of grace upon those who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699).”

Today we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the seventh day of our novena of preparation. For complete instructions, please visit the Divine Mercy website run by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Also today, we pray the seventh day of the preparatory novena Our Lord dictated to St. Maria Faustina. Through this novena, Jesus requests that Sr. Faustina bring a different group of souls into the abyss of His mercy each day for nine days. He requested that she pray for these groups of souls, immersing them in His Mercy, and pleading for them before the throne of God the Almighty Father.

On this seventh day, Our Lord requested of Sr. Faustina:

Bring to Me Souls Who Especially Venerate My Mercy © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

Bring to Me Souls Who Especially Venerate My Mercy © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

“Today bring to Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of Hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death (1224, p. 440 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

The novena prayer  for the seventh day is as follows:

Most Merciful Jesus, Whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your Mercy. These Souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to you O Most high! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, Who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen. (Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet Pamphlet [LFMCN], 2012 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.)

Today as we seek to be among those blessed souls whom our Lord refers to in today’s portion of this novena, let us strive to be merciful. Jesus told Sr. Faustina that her hands must be full of deeds of mercy. Jesus stated:

Blessed are the Merciful! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

Blessed are the Merciful! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

“Yes, the First Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must be acts of mercy. . . .I demand from you deeds which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it (742, p. 297-298 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

So too must our hands be engaged in the work of mercy if we are to share in the myriad of graces He promises to lavish upon us. While this is a difficult command, His grace is sufficient for our weakness.

Lord, please grant me the grace to be merciful as You are merciful!

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

If I Had the Faith of a Child – Reflection on the Divine Mercy Novena Day 6

Unless You Receive The Kingdom of God As A Child. . . .. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

“Truly I say to you, unless you receive the Kingdom of God as a child, you shall not enter into it (Luke 18:17).”

I love watching the reflection of Easter in the eyes of my children. The purity of their love shines forth. Children have a unique relationship to God. Our Lord chose to enter the world as a helpless, innocent babe, and from the moment of the Incarnation, He became one of them, one of us. As we walk the outdoor Stations of the Cross, and listen to the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, our Lord’s suffering seems to resonate deeply with them. Their piety is genuine; their love is deep. Just as sorrow seems to carve a space within us, so too later that whittled space can brim with joy. Easter through the eyes of a child is a blessing to behold!

As we prepare for the great feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, we continue with the sixth day of the novena of chaplets, prayed with ordinary rosary beads. For complete instructions on how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, visit the Divine Mercy website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Let the Children Come to Me © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Today is also the sixth day of the novena dictated by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina. For each day of this novena, Our Lord requested that Sr. Faustina bring a different group of souls into the abyss of His mercy. For this day Our Lord directed:

I am Meek and Humble of Heart © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

“Today bring to Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence (1220, p. 439 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

The sixth day of the novena is:

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all of Heaven into ecstasy and are the Heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them; Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

(Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet Pamphlet [LFMCN], 2012 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.)

 

A Sweet Smelling Bouquet. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2011-2012.

If God Himself takes delight in the souls of children, and the humble souls who resemble them, can we do no less?

In honor of these special souls I am reposting a prayer I penned and posted many months ago.

If I Had the Faith of a Child © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

If I Had the Faith of A Child

If I had the faith of a child, I would welcome each day with delight.

With reckless abandon, I would pursue the task of Life.

If I had the faith of a child, I would treat God as my Father,

With confidence I would speak to Him about little things throughout the day.

If I had the faith of a child, I would view His creation with a sense of wonder.

With gratitude, I would thank Him for the flowers, and snowflakes, and autumn leaves….

With Reckless Abandon, I would Live . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

If I had the faith of a child, I would realize my smallness,

And I would seek shelter in His Magnitude.

If I had the faith of a child, I would not let a sense of time constrain me,

Rather, I would marvel in the timelessness of eternity.

If I had the faith of a child, I would not grow anxious about complex matters,

Instead, I would trust in His Providence to make it all right.

I Would See Miracles Every Day © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

.If I had the faith of a child, my prayers would be simple.

With innocence, I would reflect His purity.

If I had the faith of a child, I would tell Him, “I’m sorry,” when need be,

And I would believe in my heart that His Mercy is greater than my weakness.

If I had the faith of a child, I would see miracles every day,

With simplicity, I would accept the incomprehensible.

If I had the faith of a child, I would make God laugh.

He Would Delight in My Littleness © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

He would delight in my littleness, and I in His Omnipotence.

If I had the faith of a child, I would feel His unconditional Love,

He would fill me with His gifts and I would share them.

If I had the faith of a child, I would possess true wisdom,

For, He would reveal the secrets of His Heart.

I Would Hope for Heaven © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

If I had the faith of a child, I would enter the Kingdom of God!

I would hope for Heaven, yet see the Kingdom here around me now.

If I had the faith of a child, I would trust that my every prayer would be answered.

Lord, please, grant me the faith of a child!

________________________________________

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Woman, Why Are You Weeping?

Woman, Why are You Weeping? © SalveMaterDei.com 2013

Woman, Why are You Weeping? © SalveMaterDei.com 2014

“While I was weeping at the tomb, I saw my Lord (Evening Antiphon, Tuesday Octave of Easter, Divine Office, Liturgy of the Hours).” Have you longed for something so deeply that you nearly missed it when it was given to you? Have you ever prayed with all your heart and soul for a grace, only to have God answer with miracle beyond your wildest imagination? That is exactly how we find Mary Magdalene in today’s Gospel from Holy Mass, on this the Tuesday of the Easter Octave.

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried Him away, tell me where you laid Him, and I will take Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew “Rabbouni,” which means teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, My God and your God.” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what He told her (John 20: 11-18).

She had Seen Our Lord Tortured, Beaten, and Killed. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

She had Seen Our Lord Tortured, Beaten, and Killed. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

One can easily picture the distraught Mary Magdalene, kneeling in exhausted sorrow that Easter Morning, before Our Lord’s tomb. Sobs rack her body; her eyes are swollen from two days of grief, and her strength has faded. She had seen Jesus tried, tortured, and crucified. With Mary, and a handful of others she had hastily prepared Jesus for burial, and watched the stone set to seal the tomb. These past two days had been spent in a numb pain; alternating between fear, anger, and grief. How could this have happened to her Lord? There was nothing more that the chief priests, council, temple guard, or Roman soldiers could do that would surprise her.

She Had Helped to Prepare His Body for Burial . . .© SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

She Had Helped to Prepare His Body for Burial . . .© SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

Now, as Mary Magdalene kneels in agony before the empty tomb, her pain is so great that she misses the joy that is before her. Her sorrow is so monumental that she is utterly oblivious to the two angels in white who are sitting “one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been.” The angels speak to her, and Mary is still so thoroughly immersed in her own grief that their presence, their words do not even register.

Sorrow turns to Joy! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

Sorrow turns to Joy! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

Christ Himself repeats the query of the angels: “Woman, why are you weeping?” She perceives Him to be a gardener, and is so intent on finding the dead Jesus, that she misses the Risen, Living Christ in front of her very eyes! She wants to find Jesus’s body, and return it lovingly to the tomb. She is even willing to try to carry it herself – “tell me where you laid Him, and I will take Him.” However, God’s plans are far greater than she can imagine. As Jesus calls her name, her eyes are opened – just like so many of the blind whom Jesus had cured. One can imagine the joyous reunion and Mary hugging Jesus with the strength of an iron vice-grip. One can almost sense a hint of amusement in Our Lord’s voice as He tells to loosen her grip: “Stop clinging to me!” Jesus tells Mary that He still has work to accomplish. “I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, My God and your God.” It is as if Our Lord is telling her, “In Heaven you will have all eternity to cling to Me if you wish, but for now, We need to get moving. You have work to do, as do I!” Again, there is a message for us as well. How often do we miss the grace and miracles that Our Lord lavishes upon us, because we are too narrowly focused on challenges of which seem insurmountable? God’s glorious designs surpass our greatest fears; His brilliance erases the bleakness of our sorrow. Jesus calls each of our names, just as He called out to Mary. Our task is to recognize the call, and respond to it with a hearty embrace of Our Risen Lord.

Our Task is to Embrace the Risen Lord. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

Our Task is to Embrace the Risen Lord. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

As the Easter Octave progresses we move toward the Great Feast of Mercy Sunday. We continue with the fifth day of our novena of Divine Mercy Chaplets. Again, full instructions regarding how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet can be found on the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Today is also the fifth day of the novena Our Lord dictated to St. Maria Faustina in preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy. For each day of this novena, Our Lord asked St. Faustina to pray for a particular group of souls, immersing them into the abyss of His unfathomable Mercy, and pleading for them before the throne of the Heavenly Father. Today, Jesus directed St. Faustina as follows:

Today bring to me the souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My passion they tore at My Body and My Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion (1218, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

St. Maria Faustia, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Maria Faustina, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your Light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy. Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son’s Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen. (Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet, Pamphlet [LFMCN], 2012 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate conception of the B.V.M.)

Today let us join St. Maria Faustina in praying for those who have separated themselves from the Holy Church. We intercede for all individuals who squander the graces God has lavished upon them, and pray that they may soon return to unity with the Church. As Jesus Himself prayed, “Father, may they all be one (John 17:21).” With Mary Magdalene, may we each have the grace to turn to Lord, and respond to His call; to embrace Him with all our strength, and to endeavor to do His will. May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!
Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!
Ad Jesum per Mariam M.A. J.M.J.
** Divine Mercy Celebrations will be held at churches world-wide in accordance with Our Lord’s directive to St. Maria Faustina. Confessions, Holy Mass (often at 3 p.m.) and the singing of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy usually occur at these events. There is a true outpouring of grace at these events. Contact your local Archdiocesan Office for details and locations of hosting churches.

The Lord is Risen, Alleluia! He is Truly Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

The Joy Continues! © Salve Mater Dei 2013

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia! (Divine Office Liturgy of the Office, Easter Octave Antiphon).

He is Risen, He is truly Risen, indeed, Alleluia! The joy continues! For the rest of the world Easter ended at midnight. However, as Catholics we have the grace of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ with the highest solemnity, for eight days. Throughout these eight days, or Octave of Easter, each day is recognized as a sort of mini-Easter. The celebration continues and blessings flow.

He is Truly Risen, Alleluia! © Salve Mater Dei 2013

 

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful, yet overjoyed and ran to announce the good news to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced His feet, and did Him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then gave a large sum of money to the soldiers telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep. And if this gets to the ears of the Governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. . . . (MT 28: 8-15).

A recurrent theme in this Gospel passage is trepidation. Two groups of people have encountered the reality of Christ’s Resurrection, yet their response is very different. There is a stark contrast between the two paragraphs, while both deal with a response of fear. The women are described as “fearful, yet overjoyed” and they run to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the equally frightened disciples. While the women experience fear and awe, they are able to move past it. They embrace Our Lord, both His Risen physical body, and embrace the concept of His Resurrection. They do not understand, yet they believe, and accept His exhortation to “Be not afraid,” and proclaim with joy all they have seen. As they move forward, one perceives a sense of Light transcending them.

They Looked on Him Whom They had Pierced © Salve Mater Dei 2013

On the other hand, we have the guards, strong Roman men, battled hardened soldiers, who fell down “as dead men” at the sight of the Resurrection, and quiver in fear as they approach the chief priests and the elders. One wonders which frightened them more – the vision the angel, whose appearance was that of lighting, descending from Heaven to roll back the stone, and who revealed the empty tomb or the wrath of Pilate and the Council. Either way, they were terrified. We sense the darkness of their hearts, the darkness of the situation. They were offered bribes to hide the most significant Truth ever witnessed by human eyes, and they capitulate. Likewise, the religious elders and chief priests seem equally shrouded in darkness and fear. They know the truth – they crucified the Messiah, and now He is Risen. If He is strong enough to conquer death, do they really think their secret will last forever? They don’t care. They would rather perpetuate a lie, than embrace the reality of the Resurrection.

We too are faced with a similar choice. The Resurrection is indeed a mystery. Yet we are asked to accept with faith what we cannot explain. It is a choice of the will. The bridge between faith and understanding is the will. When we choose to embrace the Risen Christ, and proclaim the reality of His Resurrection, we too move from darkness to light. The words He spoke to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are meant for us as well: “Do not be afraid. Go tell My brothers. . . .”

Jesus I Trust in You! the Divine Mercy Image © Salve Mater Dei 2013

Perhaps there is no better way to tell our brothers and sisters about the love of the Risen Christ than to spread the message about Christ’s Divine Mercy. As this glorious week unfolds, we continue our preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday which occurs on the Sunday following Easter. Thus, in preparation we continue our novena of Divine Mercy Chaplets. This chaplet is prayed on ordinary rosary beads. For complete instructions please visit the Divine Mercy website run by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Today we also continue the novena our Lord dictated to St. Maria Faustina for her private use. Each day, Jesus directed St. Faustina to pray for a specific group of souls, immersing them into the abyss of His Mercy, and pleading for them before the throne of the Heavenly Father.

On this the fourth day of the novena, Sr. Faustina was directed by Our Lord to:

“Bring to Me those souls who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Me. I was also thinking of them during my bitter passion, and their future zeal comforted My heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Today, let us pray as St. Faustina did, immersing the souls of unbelievers in the abyss of Christ’s mercy. Let us recall what courage it takes to have the will to believe. Our own faith is a treasure for which we should express sincere gratitude, as we pray, that like Mary Magdalene and the women at the tomb, these souls “will not persist in their unbelief, but believe!”

Like Sr. Faustina, let us beg the Heavenly Father to “draw them to the light of the Gospel,” that they too may extol the mercy of God for endless ages.

The text for the fourth day of the novena is:

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as of yet do not know You, but are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the Light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen. (Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet Pamphlet [LFMCN], 2012 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.)

Today’s prayer from this morning’s Divine office is appropriate:

Father, You give your Church constant growth by adding new members to your family. Help us to put in action in our lives the Baptism we have received with faith. We ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen (Divine Office, Liturgy of the Hours, Monday Morning within the Octave of Easter).

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly,

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

** Divine Mercy Celebrations will be held at churches world-wide in accordance with Our Lord’s directive to St. Maria Faustina. Confessions, Holy Mass (often at 3 p.m.) and the singing of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy usually occur at these events. There is a true outpouring of grace at these events.

Contact your local Archdiocesan Office for details and locations of hosting churches.

You Will Not Leave My Soul in Hell, Nor Let Your Holy One Experience Corruption – 2014

Though sinless, the Lord has been put to death. The world is in mourning as for an only son.  © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Though sinless, the Lord has been put to death. The world is in mourning as for an only son. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

“Though sinless, the Lord has been put to death. The world is in mourning as for an only son (Psalmody, Antiphon 1, Divine Office Holy Saturday).”

"Look Well All You Peoples and See My Suffering."  Good Friday Antiphon Divine Office SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

“Look Well All You Peoples and See My Suffering.” Good Friday Antiphon Divine Office SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

Holy Saturday begins with a mix of emotions. While a growing sense of anticipation is palpable an acute tinge of sorrow remains. Good Friday was physically and emotionally exhausting – and if celebrated deeply, it should be. By Good Friday Night Prayer, our bodies should be feeling the effects of a day of strict fasting, and just as our hearts and souls ache from contemplating the suffering and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As we settle down to slumber with a “May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death,” still on our lips from Night Prayer, we entrust body and soul to the compassionate and providential care of Our God.

Lord Open My Lips and My Mouth Will Proclaim Your Praise! SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

Lord Open My Lips and My Mouth Will Proclaim Your Praise! SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

Holy Saturday morning finds us waiting in anticipation. Last night, my older children and I stayed up and watched the movie, “The Passion of Christ.” Each Good Friday, we watch it together, and I am profoundly shaken by the depth of our Lord’s Mercy and the significance of His Slavific Sacrifice. Throughout this Holy Saturday, I have found myself reflecting on Our Lord’s Harrowing of Hades – yes , even in death He was not asleep – but rather extending His Mercy to those who had fallen asleep in the promise and Hope of a Redeemer.

"Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life." © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life.” © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

 

As I brought my kids to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians for an early morning practice for tonight’s Easter Vigil, the flowers has been lovingly arranged around the main altar and Shrine chapel. The tabernacle remains empty – someone is missing. Yet, the Resurrection is a certainty – it has been promised and our redemption is at hand. Today, as we prepare to celebrate the most sacred Solemnity of the year, let us strive to profoundly adore our Crucified Christ with all of the devotion and love we can possibly offer. By worshipping Him intensely and immersing ourselves in the mystery of salvation, may we be blessed to share fully the Glory of His Resurrection for all Eternity.

Sanctuary at the Bascilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help Of Christians at Holy Hill - Holy Saturday Morning SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Sanctuary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help Of Christians at Holy Hill – Holy Saturday Morning SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

As we prepare for the jubilant celebration of Easter, and the glorious octave that will follow, with gratitude we turn our gaze toward the unfathomable gifts our Lord bestows in His immeasurable love. The greatest of these is His Mercy.

As we prepare for the Feast of Divine Mercy, which occurs exactly one week after Easter, we reflect upon the immeasurable depth of God’s Mercy, and our personal response to that gift.

Regarding the gift of His Divine Mercy Our Lord told St. Maria Faustina:

“My Mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or an angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of my most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity (699, p. 286– Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

We thus continue our preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy, a Feast instituted by Our Lord, on which He tells us that “the very depths of His mercy are open.” In preparation, we continue our novena of chaplets.

Contemplating His Mercy, Adoring The Crucified Christ SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

Contemplating His Mercy, Adoring The Crucified Christ SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

Today we also continue the novena dictated by our Lord to St. Maria Faustina. This novena, initiated for her private devotion, offers spiritual fruit for all who pray it faithfully. On each of the nine consecutive days prior to the Feast of Divine Mercy, Jesus requested that St. Faustina immerse a certain group of souls in the ocean of His Mercy. Our Lord would in turn bring those souls into the House of Our Heavenly Father. On the second day of the novena, Sr. Faustina was instructed to pray especially for the souls of the priests and religious.

Our Lord instructed:

“Today bring Me the souls of the priests and religious and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon all mankind (1212, p. 436– Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

 

“Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.”

 

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun “us” since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use (source: Marian Press, Marians of the Immaculate Conception.)

 

Like St. Maria Faustina, let us endeavor to bring the souls of priests and religious into to abyss of Christ’s mercy. These faithful men and women are consecrated to the service of the Lord. They are the beloved laborers in His vineyard. Without them the channels of grace would close.

Without Priests, There Would Be No Mass, No Sacraments, No One to Baptise Our Children, To Hear Our Confessions. . . SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Without Priests, There Would Be No Mass, No Sacraments, No One to Baptise Our Children, To Hear Our Confessions. . . SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Without priests, we would not have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass [nor for our Eastern brethren, the Divine Liturgy]. There would be no one to Baptize, washing away the stain of original sin, and bringing the Light of the Holy Spirit to our souls, and those of our children. Without priests there would be no Eucharist to nourish our souls, nor sacrament of penance to reconcile us to God when we had rejected His love. Without priests, we would have no hope of becoming soldiers for Christ, or having our marriages become truly sacramental unions. Without priests, our souls would never have the sacramental grace given as we prepare to leave this life and enter into the next. Our priests are a treasure, one this secular world often despises and rejects.

Who Prays for You? Religious Sisters and Brothers leading Hidden Lives Rich in Grace. SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Who Prays for You? Religious Sisters and Brothers leading Hidden Lives Rich in Grace. SalveMaterDei.com, 2014.

So too let us remember the religious sisters, monks and  brothers who support the church and the society with prayer, sacrifice, and works of charity. These hidden souls labor perpetually for the salvation of the world, and receive little positive attention for their monumental efforts. Just as the secular world disdains the priests so too it seems to revel in ridiculing the very existence of religious sisters and brothers. In appreciation for the tremendous gift of priests and religious, let us follow Christ’s request, and immerse them in the abyss of His mercy, and present them to the Heavenly Father for His blessing.

Wishing you and yours the joy of a glorious Easter, and Blessed Pascha.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Praise the Lord for He is Risen, He is Truly Risen Indeed! SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Praise the Lord for He is Risen, He is Truly Risen Indeed! SalveMaterDei.com, 2013

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

** Divine Mercy Celebrations will be held at churches world-wide in accordance with Our Lord’s directive to St. Maria Faustina. Confessions, Holy Mass (often at 3 p.m.) and the singing of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy usually occur at these events. There is a true outpouring of grace at these events.

Contact your local Archdiocesan Office for details and locations of hosting churches.

 

My Servant Shall Prosper, He Shall Be Raised High and Greatly Exalted. . .

He Shall be Raised High and Greatly Exalted © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014  EA Photo

He Shall be Raised High and Greatly Exalted © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014 EA Photo

 

See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him- so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of men – so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it (Isaiah 52:13- 15 from the First Reading, Good Friday Liturgy).

The Sacred Paschal Triduum commemorates the holiest days of the Church year. Last night the Triduum commenced with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At this Holy Mass we celebrated both the institution of the Holy Eucharist and commissioning of the sacred priesthood, while contemplating the night on which our Lord was betrayed.

By Your Own Blood Lord, You Brought Us Back to God © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

By Your Own Blood Lord, You Brought Us Back to God © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

Today, on Good Friday, we gaze upon the suffering face of our Lord as we accompany Him along the, Via Crucis; the Via Dolorosa – the Way of the Cross. Around the world many of us walked (literally and figuratively) with our fellow Christians, and commemorated the Sacred Passion of Our Lord by praying the fourteen Stations of the Cross.

Through the celebration of the Good Friday Liturgy, we recall the most pivotal event in the history of human kind: the day on which Our Lord suffered, was crucified, and died to pay the penalty of our sin. On this day we pause and recall our own sins, and the burden our actions have added to Our Lord’s sacred shoulders. While this is a solemn, somber celebration of our Lord’s passion and death, there is also a glimmer of joy; for in His passion and death is the ultimate expression of merciful love. It is no coincidence that today we also begin to prepare for the Feast of Divine Mercy. That preparation begins with the novena of Mercy.

My Mercy is Greater than the Sins of the World. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

My Mercy is Greater than the Sins of the World. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

For the next nine days, I will post a brief reflection, a reminder to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the novena requested by our Lord, and the link to the novena which our Lord dictated on Good Friday 1937 to St. Maria Faustina for her private use in preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy.

In Her Diary, St. Maria Faustina relates that our Lord Himself requested the Chaplet of Mercy be recited, beginning on Good Friday, for nine days before the Feast of Divine Mercy. He stated: “By this novena I will grant every possible grace to souls (796, p.316 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is to be recited on ordinary Rosary Beads. After making the Sign of the Cross, one then recites an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and the Apostles Creed.

On the single bead prior to each decade, one prays:

“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ in Atonement for Our Sins, and for the sins of the whole world (475, p.207 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

On the ten beads of the decade, one prays:

“For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world (476, p.208 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

After all five decades have been prayed, one prays the concluding Doxology:

“Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world (476, p.208 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

There is an optional closing prayer:

“Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly on us, and increase your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, which is Love and Mercy Itself (796, p.370 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

While Our Lord requested this novena of Chaplets not only for St. Maria Faustina, but the whole world, He also gave her a private novena. In this novena, Our Lord invites Sr. Faustina to immerse a particular group of souls into the abyss of His mercy each day, so that in turn He may bring these souls to the Heavenly Father. Over the years, I have found this novena tremendously fruitful.

So Marred Was His Look Beyond Human Semblance © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

So Marred Was His Look Beyond Human Semblance © SalveMaterDei.com, 2014

Our Lord stated to St. Faustina:

“I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the font of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom enough strength and refreshment and whatever graces they need . . . . On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them into this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father (1209, p. 435, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord Jesus loves each of us immeasurably. He came into the world to testify to the truth of that love, and to lay down His life in reparation for our sins. It is for sinners that He came into this world, and for sinners that He died and rose again victorious. Therefore, it is fitting that this first day of the novena be dedicated to sinners.

Jesus requested of St. Faustina on Day 1:

“Today, bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them into the ocean of My Mercy. In this way, you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.”

“Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.”
“Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.”

( Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).

 

In this first day, St. Faustina immerses each of us into the abyss of God’s mercy, an abyss so deep that even death could not fill it. As we journey from the Cross to the Resurrection, let us join St. Maria Faustina in immersing all of humankind, but most especially all sinners, in Christ’s Mercy, with the hope that He will in turn eventually bring them home to His Father’s House.

Blessed Triduum,

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

** Divine Mercy Celebrations will be held at churches world-wide in accordance with Our Lord’s directive to St. Maria Faustina. Confessions, Holy Mass (often at 3 p.m.) and the singing of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy usually occur at these events. There is a true outpouring of grace at these events.

Contact your local Archdiocesan Office for details and locations of hosting churches.

54- Day Rosary Novena for Peace in the Ukraine

Icon of Our Lady of Ostrabrama © GodAloneSufficeth.com, 2014

Rarely do I re-post from another site. However, today my son posted this 54-Day Novena for Peace in the Ukraine on his blog, God Alone Sufficeth. The situation in the Ukraine is complex and heart-wrenching. There are no easy human answers to the conflict. We pray for peace, for safety, for forgiveness and calm. Please consider joining our family as we turn to Our Lady - the Most Holy Theotokos - in supplication, pleading that she intercede with Her Divine Son to bring His Peace to this deep discord.

From- the blog God Alone Sufficeth (at http://GodAloneSufficeth.com):

In light of the present Ukrainian crisis, and realizing that there really are no advantageous “human solutions” to the current disturbing situation, I believe it is imperative that we take advantage of our only effectual means of solving this calamity – prayer. Therefore, I am inviting you all to join me in a 54 Day Rosary Novena for peace in the Ukraine. Magnified by the fasting and coupled with the intense graces associated with the Sacred Season of Lent, these prayers are truly our only hope and they are effective, even if we never see or recognize the results.

In the Roman Rite, we have a tradition of reciting a 54 Day Rosary Novena (also known as the “Irresistible Novena”). This Novena consists of praying 5 decades of the Holy Rosary each day for 27 days in petition; followed immediately by praying 5 decades again for 27 days in thanksgiving, whether or not the request has been granted.

Please join me for the next 54 days in praying a rosary each day and the following Novena Prayer for “peace in the Ukraine and that God’s will, whatever it may be, may be accomplished in peace.”

NOVENA PRAYER:

“Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, accept this Holy Rosary which I offer you to show my love for you and my firm confidence in your powerful intercession. I offer it as an act of faith in the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Redemption, as an act of thanksgiving to God for all His love for me and all mankind, as an act of atonement for sins of the world, especially my own, and as an act of petition to God through your intercession for all the needs of God’s people on earth, but especially for this earnest request. (Mention your request – “for peace in the Ukraine and that God’s will, whatever it may be, may be accomplished in peace.”) I beg you, dear Mother of God, present my petition to Jesus, your Son. I know that you want me to seek God’s will in my request. If what I ask for should not be God’s will, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit for my soul. I put all my confidence in you. Amen”

- (Prayer taken from “My Little Prayer Book, p. 35)

Jesus Christ, Sovereign King of the World – have mercy on us and grant us peace!

Most Holy Theotokos – save us!

Our Lady, Queen of Peace – pray for us!

Thank you for joining me in praying this Novena. Please share it with your friends and invite them to unite in prayer.

Just to let everyone know, this is for prayers ONLY – no comments on the politics please!!!!! I know that this topic has the potential to evoke strong emotions. However, for the sake of the peace that we are trying to promote and prayerful attitude we are trying to maintain, just prayers please – any comments of a political nature will be promptly deleted. I am deeply grateful that no such problems have arisen so far. Please continue to pray.

KJ   JMJ   & M.A.  JMJ

St. Joseph Foster-Father of Jesus, Pray for Us!

St. Joseph, Foster-father of Jesus, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Joseph, Foster-father of Jesus, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

The month of March has traditionally been reserved in honor of St. Joseph, the righteous and virtuous spouse of the Sinless, Ever-Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joseph, the Just Man, is the Patron of the Universal Church. God Himself entrusted the protection of The Christ-Child and His Beloved Mother – the Most Holy Theotokos – to St. Joseph. He cared for their bodily and spiritual welfare. St. Joseph protected them from every peril– including the slaughter of the innocents as well as the dangers which lurked on the flight into Egypt, the spiritual dangers of exile in a pagan land, and the subsequent return of the Holy Family to Nazareth. It was Joseph, who with Mary, searched for the adolescent Jesus, finding Him after three days teaching the elders in the Temple of Jerusalem. Likewise, it was Joseph whose gentle and fatherly care allowed the Christ-Child to grow in “Wisdom and age and favor before God and man (Luke 3:52).”

St. Teresa of Avila, the Carmelite Mystic and Doctor of the Church, frequently directed her sisters to “go to St. Joseph.” In her autobiography, St. Teresa declared:

“I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good.”

St. Joseph’s intercession is powerful. Not only is St. Joseph the patron of the Universal Church, but he is also the patron of fathers, carpenters, woodworkers, cabinet makers, laborers, bakers, confectioners, and pastry-makers. As a father and laborer, St. Joseph’s intercession is often sought by those fathers who are unemployed or under employed. Sacred Tradition also holds that Joseph was blessed to die with Jesus and Mary at his side, and as such is invoked as the patron of a happy death.

St. Joseph, Patron of a Holy Death, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com 2013

St. Joseph, Patron of a Holy Death, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com 2013

No less than ten countries have officially named St. Joseph as their patron, including: Austria, Belgium, Bohemia, Canada, China, Croatia, Korea, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. Likewise, St. Joseph is proclaimed as patron of hundreds of cities and towns, and innumerable hospitals, schools, churches, convents, monasteries and oratories are dedicated to his protection and thus bear his holy name.

The Just Man Shall Blossom Like a Lily © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013 EA photo

The Just Man Shall Blossom Like a Lily © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013 EA photo

Among Catholic devotions, the novena is a powerful method of prayer. The following Thirty-Day Novena is very old, and may be initiated at any time. However, as we begin this month dedicated to the honor of St. Joseph, perhaps it is a fitting time to devote ourselves to seek the intercession of this powerful Saint.

Thirty Day St. Joseph Novena

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow. Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.

Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the Eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the Holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the Eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His Holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt. I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.

I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country. I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you did meet with so many joys and sorrows.

I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His Mother for three days. I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the Temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus. I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary. I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God.

O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.
(make your request)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Amen.

St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Joseph, Foster-Father of Jesus, Holy Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, powerful intercessor and patron, Please Pray for us!

In Christ,

M.A. JMJ

“Why We March………”

M.A. JMJ:

My son posted this reflection on his site (God Alone Sufficeth)regarding his experieces at this year’s March for Life 2014. He had the privilege to travel with an outstanding group of young adults and bear witness to the Sanctity of Life.

Originally posted on God Alone Sufficeth:

March for Life - 2014 © GodAloneSufficeth.com 2014

March for Life – 2014 © GodAloneSufficeth.com 2014

One week ago today, I was arriving in Washington D.C. with my group from the great state of Wisconsin to participate in the 41st. annual March for Life. It was a tremendous blessing and honor to again attend this event. As a Catholic Christian, I prayed for an end to the scourges of abortion, euthanasia and the countless other abuses of the human being’s right to life with dignity which the legalization Roe vs. Wade has facilitated. As an American Citizen, I exercised my right to“peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” guaranteed under the 1st. Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The March for Life is far more than simply “another anti-abortion protest.” No, The March for Life is a “pilgrimage. “As we work to end the grave injustices of abortion, euthanasia…

View original 780 more words